Stanford Invitational Tournament

It's not too late to join us for summer 2017!  We still have space in many of our programs, however many sessions are close to maximum capacity--if you're planning to attend, we strongly suggest that you sign up soon!

View our 2017 programs schedule.  Not sure which program to choose?  Review our "How to pick the right program" guide.

Lincoln-Douglas Debate

The Stanford National Forensic Institute offers national caliber summer debate programs for students of any level of experience. The Two Week program is open to all students and is a comprehensive preparation for the upcoming year of competitive debate. Each lab is carefully constructed to maximize student’s ability to accelerate their skills in a highly educational environment. A strong student to staff ratio (8:1) and a minimum of 10 expertly critiqued practice rounds are a core feature of the two-week camp. The Three Week program adds an additional week to the standard Two Week program. The Third Week focuses on technique and practice rounds, and gives students the chance to fully integrate the skills they have learned during the first two weeks of camp.

Director's Note

What I love most about LD debate is that it is constantly in flux. Norms always shift. Practices constantly evolve. Argument angles are always new. In that way, debate is a living (and vibrant) activity. This is easily evidenced by watching the various styles that succeed across the country and reading the various defenses of styles and practices in places ranging from online message boards to published Rostrum articles.

That means that as much as SNFI is a great opportunity for students to learn from some of the best debate minds in the country, the styles that they prefer is equally a tremendous opportunity to help further the exchange of ideas. Students from Pennsylvania bring with them ideas that differ from those students from Alabama or Washington or Texas or California. All find a home at SNFI each summer. The result is, in my experience, unique. Where many camps seek to stylistically homogenize students, SNFI works to form labs in a way that not only pairs them with lab leaders that will meet their needs, but also in a way that maximizes each student's exposure to differing views on debate.

In this way SNFI is a tremendous place for students with ambitions that range from winning top level national competitions (which our alumni have done) to a desire to simply be able to better train the novices on their teams or even to start programs. The joy I get from running SNFI is not bragging about the tournaments our alumni have won or the accolades of the coaches that staff the camp. The real reward is the student from Any High School who sends an email after their first tournament to explain the joy they feel from their improved record, confidence, mastery of debate, or ability to improve their teammates.

SNFI is not like other debate camps. That's why I keep coming back! I hope you'll join us this summer in Palo Alto!

2017 Lincoln-Douglas Debate Staff Members Include:

Stanford National Forensic Institute - Brian Manuel (Division Director, Policy & LD Debate)

Brian Manuel, Division Director, Policy & LD Debate

Brian has been coaching debate for 17 years. He is widely recognized for unrivaled talent in creating and rebuilding programs from the bottom up. Brian is currently the Director of Policy Debate for the Stanford Debate Society at Stanford University, the Director of Debate for Edgemont Jr./Sr. High School in Scarsdale, NY, and a support consultant for the National Speech and Debate Association.

While the Director of Policy Debate at Stanford, Brian has rebuilt the program and most recently coached teams to 3rd place at the Cross Examination Debate Association and elimination rounds at the National Debate Tournament.  At Edgemont, Brian coached the 9th ranked policy debate in the country, four NY state championships in Policy Debate and Public Forum,  established a middle school debate program, and introduced the school to the format of Lincoln Douglas Debate.  In addition, he has had students compete on Capitol Hill in front of the House Judiciary Committee on the topic of Domestic Surveillance.

Prior to Stanford, Brian coached for Harvard University, Lakeland High School, Chattahoochee High School, Cathedral Preparatory School, and Scranton High School. 

Brian’s teams have cleared at virtually every major natural tournament they’ve attended.   He has coached the champions of the 2003 Big Bronx Invitational and 2008 Barkley Forum.  Additionally, Brian has had multiple teams in the elimination rounds of the Tournament of Champions, NDCA, NCFL, and NSDA National Championships with finals finishes in 2007 and 2012.  He has also coached the Phyllis Flory Barton top speaker in Policy Debate at NSDA Nationals in 2013.  Along with his tremendous tournament successes, Brian’s students have attended every major national round robin in the United States.

During the summer Brian serves as the Policy Institute Director at the Stanford National Forensic Institute and has previously taught at the Kentucky National Debate Institute, with the Fellows program, Capitol Debate Summer Institutes, Millennial Institutes, and the Georgetown Debate Seminar.

Stanford National Forensic Institute - Rishi Chebrolu (LD Instructor)

Rishi Chebrolu, LD Instructor

Rishi is currently a graduate student at the University of Pittsburgh in the Department of Communication where he coaches policy debate for the William Pitt Debating Union. He also coaches at the high school level at Pittsburgh Central Catholic High School, qualifying a team to the TOC this past year. As a college debater, Rishi qualified to the 70th National Debate Tournament and cleared to elimination rounds at multiple regional tournaments. He has instructed in the past at the Nebraska Debate Institute, and is looking forward to his teaching at the Lincoln Douglas camp at the SNFI this year. 


Stanford National Forensic Institute - Harshita Davuluri (LD Instructor)

Harshita Davuluri, LD Instructor

Harshita debated for 3 years for Flower Mound High School in Dallas, Texas, competing both locally and nationally in LD and Extemp. Harshita qualified to Extemp TOC her sophomore and junior year and went to TFA State all 3 years, clearing her senior year. Harshita had winning records and reached late out-rounds at various TOC tournaments such as Grapevine, UT, Strake Jesuit, Greenhill, UPenn, and Berkeley, was a semi-finalist in the Hockaday Women’s Round Robin, and helped mentor her younger teammates throughout her senior year. Harshita attends the University of Texas at Austin.

Stanford National Forensic Institute - Michael Fiedorowicz (LD Instructor)

Michael Fiedorowicz, LD Instructor

Michael is a senior at Georgetown University where he majors in Philosophy and Government. His high school speech and debate career comprised of competing in LD and Original Advocacy at Bellarmine College Preparatory in San Jose, CA. During his time there, he qualified to State in both events and went to the 2014 NSDA Nationals in LD and was the school's LD captain in his final year. He broke at most major tournaments which he attended, and was the top LD speaker at the 2013 Golden Desert tournament. 

Stanford National Forensic Institute - Jonathan Haderlein (LD & Parli Instructor)

Jonathan Haderlein, LD & Parli Instructor

Jon has competed in debate for ten years and coached for two. While competing for North Hollywood High School he qualified for the TOC in Public Forum and Congressional Debate and made elimination rounds in both Lincoln Douglas and Congressional Debate at both the California State Championship and the NFL National Tournament. Jon went to college at the University of Chicago, and during his fourth year he became the highest ranked individual UChicago APDA debater in recorded history (a record he hopes will soon be broken). While competing in British Parliamentary Debate he was the 2014 North American Universities Debating Champion as well as a two-time Hart House IV Finalist, a two-time USUDC Semifinalist, a Cambridge IV Semifinalist, and a Yale IV Semifinalist. 

Jon has been coaching high school debate in California for two years, during which he has coached students to elimination rounds at the California State Tournament in both public forum and parliamentary debate as well as coaching a student to late elimination rounds in Lincoln Douglas at the 2016 NSDA National Championship. He is excited to be teaching at SNFI, even though it will take him away from his four year old shar-pei labrador mixes, in part because his best friend and fellow 2014 North American Champion Krikor will be teaching as well. 

Stanford National Forensic Institute - Jane Irons (LD Instructor)

Jane Irons, LD Instructor

Jane Irons is a junior at Yale University where she is majoring in philosophy. She has debated for two years on the APDA circuit. In high school, she did LD, parliamentary, and world schools debate and was on the U.S. National Debate Team.

Stanford National Forensic Institute - Kevin Krotz (LD Instructor)

Kevin Krotz, LD Instructor

Kevin competed for 4 years with Torrey Pines High School/Del Mar in San Diego, California, graduating in 2015. He acquired four bids, attended several round robins, and was a top five speaker at multiple national circuit tournaments. As a coach, his students have had success on both local and national circuits, with four qualifying for the TOC this past year, and two breaking to elims. He currently attends the University of Arizona, majoring in Philosophy. 

Stanford National Forensic Institute - Patrick Mahoney (LD Instructor)

Patrick Mahoney, LD Instructor

Patrick brings debate experience in Lincoln-Douglas (for Strake Jesuit, in TX) and college policy debate (for Stanford). As a LD competitor in high school he amassed over 10 TOC bids, broke at the TOC as a junior, was the Greenhill champion, and as a senior reached late outrounds at every tournament he attended -- all of which occurred during the period that policy-style argumentation was popularized in the activity. He also attended NFL Nationals three times, once placing in the top 50 teams in Public Forum debate his freshman year. As an instructor, he also coached (in different years) third and second place finishers in Lincoln-Douglas at the Texas Forensic Association state tournament; and he brings experience from multiple camps on both the East and West coast. As a college competitor his freshman year with the Stanford team debating with Ben Picozi, they reached the break round at CEDA and missed NDT qualification by one round.

Stanford National Forensic Institute - Dave McGinnis (LD 3rd Week Academic Director)

Dave McGinnis, LD 3rd Week Academic Director

Dave is the head debate coach at Valley High School in West Des Moines, Iowa. Dave’s students have reached the highest levels of debate success. Dave has qualified students to the TOC every year since 2000. He has coached students to the Top 10 at NSDA nationals multiple times, and coached the 2017 NSDA national champion in Original Oratory. (Yay!) His students have reached late elimination rounds at every major national tournament, including final round appearances at: Blake, Berkeley, Yale, Valley, Emory, Dowling, and the Minnesota and California state debate tournaments, and tournament championships at: Apple Valley, Stanford, Cedar Rapids Washington, Omaha Westside, the Iowa state debate tournament, St. Mark’s, and the 2007 TOC. Dave also coached a finalist at the 2010 TOC.

Stanford National Forensic Institute - Neeshi Patadia (Individual Events Instructor)

Neeshi Patadia, Individual Events Instructor

No profile currently available

Stanford National Forensic Institute - Leah Villanueva (LD Instructor)

Leah Villanueva, LD Instructor

Leah Clark Villanueva brings over 8 years of debate experience, including Parliamentary, Public Forum, Lincoln-Douglas, and Policy Debate. She earned a B.A. in Psychology at CSU Los Angeles.

During college, Leah joined the CSU Fullerton Policy Debate team. She competed and cleared at several national and regional tournaments including finals at SFSU and CSUN. She placed in the Top 50 teams in the country during the 2014-2016 seasons.  

She is currently a speech and debate instructor at Mirman School. During the debate program’s first year, her students competed in deep elimination rounds and won Top Speaker at the California Middle School State Championship in 2017.

In her free time, she enjoys watching movies, binge-watching Netflix shows, writing, and volunteering at the Los Angeles Metropolitan Debate League.

Stanford National Forensic Institute - Aurelia Williams (LD Instructor)

Aurelia Williams, LD Instructor

Aurelia has debate experience at both the high school and college level, and is also an experienced social and political activist on a local and national level. She brings years of practical and academic knowledge of race and ethnicity issues domestically and internationally to the Global Debate Symposium. Aurelia is currently a varsity policy debater and is pursuing a degree in global studies at Georgia State. Post-graduation Aurelia is planning on going to law school with a human rights concentration.

Stanford National Forensic Institute - Maggie Zollo (LD Instructor)

Maggie Zollo, LD Instructor

Maggie is a junior at Texas A&M studing political science and communications. She competed locally and natioanlly for Northland Christian School in Houston, TX for 4 years. She qualified to TFA her sophomore through senior years, and had winning records and cleared at several national circuit torunaments such as Isidore Newman and Berkeley. She has continued helping out at her former high school and remains involved in the activity through judging and teaching at camps.

We will continue to add additional staff members as enrollment and availability dictate. Details are posted on additional staff members as they are confirmed and as we have complete biographic information available. Staff listing may not be fully up to date or reflect all hires to date.

2016 Lincoln-Douglas Debate Staff Members Included:

Stanford National Forensic Institute - Ben Anderson (LD & Parli Instructor)

Ben Anderson, LD & Parli Instructor

Ben Anderson is a sophomore at Stanford, originally from Liberty, Missouri. In high school, he competed in International Extemporaneous and Lincoln-Douglas debate with the Liberty High speech and debate team. He qualified to nationals three times, finishing in the top 30 of IX his junior year, on top of a third-place finish at State. Ben continues to debate in college with Stanford's Parliamentary Debate team. Though he hasn't figured out his major yet, Ben's interests include literature, politics, philosophy, math, and music. He plays in the Stanford orchestra and is involved in climate activism on campus. Ben is very excited to join SNFI as a Parli and LD instructor.

Stanford National Forensic Institute - James Callison (LD Instructor)

James Callison, LD Instructor

James debated for 4 years with Kent Denver School in Colorado and graduated in 2013. He is an alumn of the SNFI program. As captain of his team senior year, he taught younger debaters and debated very frequently on both the local and national circuits. James qualified for his state tournament all four years, placing in the top eight two years. He qualified for NFL nationals in LD sophomore, junior, and senior year. He also qualified to NFL nationals in Extemp three times and Senate once. James also qualified to the national Tournament of Champions his senior year. In addition, he made it into a number of late out rounds at many national and local tournaments and won the Alta tournament in Utah. Currently, James attends Middlebury College, where he was the Parliamentry Debate Society president as a sophomore, attended nationals as a freshman and sophomore, and was ranked in the top 25 debaters nationally in his first full year at the college. This will be his fourth year teaching at Stanford. 

Stanford National Forensic Institute - Harshita Davuluri (LD Instructor)

Harshita Davuluri, LD Instructor

Harshita debated for 3 years for Flower Mound High School in Dallas, Texas, competing both locally and nationally in LD and Extemp. Harshita qualified to Extemp TOC her sophomore and junior year and went to TFA State all 3 years, clearing her senior year. Harshita had winning records and reached late out-rounds at various TOC tournaments such as Grapevine, UT, Strake Jesuit, Greenhill, UPenn, and Berkeley, was a semi-finalist in the Hockaday Women’s Round Robin, and helped mentor her younger teammates throughout her senior year. Harshita attends the University of Texas at Austin.

Stanford National Forensic Institute - Will Gingold (LD Instructor)

Will Gingold, LD Instructor

Will debated for 4 years with Harvard-Westlake School in California and graduated in 2014. Throughout his debate career Will competed on the national circuit, clearing at Brophy, Golden Desert, Blake (twice), CPS, Berkeley (twice), Loyola, and the Voices Invitational.  Will is currently pursuing a BA in Economics and Political Science at the University of Chicago.

Stanford National Forensic Institute - Katie Hughes (LD Instructor)

Katie Hughes, LD Instructor

Katie Hughes debated for four years for Immaculate Heart High School in Los Angeles. She debated on the local, state, and national circuits, earning bids at Harvard Westlake, Alta, and Golden Desert her senior year. She cleared at all but one of the invitationals she attended her senior year and was in finals of Harvard Westlake. Katie attended the Lexington, Cal Berkeley, and Battle for Los Angeles Round Robins and qualified to State 3 years in a row and Nationals twice. She ended her career as 3rd at Nationals. She currently attends Stanford University and debates with the SDS team.

Stanford National Forensic Institute - Shawn Matson (Division Director, Lincoln-Douglas )

Shawn Matson, Division Director, Lincoln-Douglas

Shawn Matson is the incoming Director of Speech & Debate at Presentation High School in California, holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and is a former Jewish community non-profit professional. For six years, he was the head coach at Whitefish Bay HS in Wisconsin and has worked with other teams and students around the country. His students have won state championships and have advanced to late elimination rounds at Glenbrooks, Blake, Stanford, ASU, Harvard, Berkeley, UPenn, Dowling Catholic, NCFL, the TOC, and NSDA nationals.

With student successes in every Speech & Debate event, Shawn has focused on Public Forum, Congress, and Lincoln Douglas for the past 5 years and specializes in research & case position generation, European Union politics, and judge adaptation.

Shawn is a One Diamond coach, a member of the NSDA’s Lincoln Douglas Debate Wording Committee and Southern Wisconsin District Committee, and has served on the Board of Directors for both the Wisconsin Debate Coaches Association as its President, and for the Wisconsin Forensic Coaches Association.

Stanford National Forensic Institute - Russell Michelson (LD Instructor)

Russell Michelson, LD Instructor

Russell Michelson got hooked on debate when he joined his high school team. He participated in varsity Lincoln-Douglas and speech events all four years. In college, he developed a love for teaching during his four years at the university's Speaking Center. There, he tutored hundreds of students on effective presentation skills, created and gave workshops, and led a staff of other tutors. He continued his debate career in college, and in his free time, judged debate and public speaking competitions. Also in college, he honed his ability to think on his feet by joining the school's improv troupe and performing stand-up comedy regularly. After graduating, Russell became a senior instructor at Harvard Debate Council for a summer. He has a bachelor of arts degree in communication from the University of Mary Washington.

Stanford National Forensic Institute - Joey Schnide (Congress Instructor)

Joey Schnide, Congress Instructor

Joey competed on the national circuit in congressional and Lincoln-Douglas debate for three years at Evanston Township High School in Illinois. Joey qualified to the TOC twice; in congress as a junior and in Lincoln-Douglas as a senior. He also won the Illinois State tournament (twice), the NCFL Grand National Tournament, and the NSDA National Tournament (in Extemporaneous Debate). Joey is currently a sophmore studying international affairs at the George Washington University. He is an assistant coach at Thomas Jefferson High School in Alexandria, VA and competes in parliamentary debate for GW on the American Parliamentary Debate Association circuit. 

Stanford National Forensic Institute - SunHee Simon (LD Instructor)

SunHee Simon, LD Instructor

SunHee Simon has participated in debate since the 7th grade and has been a championship debater in both Lincoln Douglas and Policy Debate. In 2015, she was one of only 2 people in America to qualify to the Tournament  of Champions in CX and LD.  SunHee won numerous awards at national tournaments in high school, including LD champion at the Greenhill Invitational and LD co-champion of the Cal Round Robin and the Cal Invitational at Berkeley. She is also a former member of the USA National Debate Team. SunHee currently participates in college policy debate at Stanford, most recently earning the semifinal title at the Cross Examination Debate Association (CEDA) national tournament. 


Stanford National Forensic Institute - Edwin Zhang (LD & Parli Instructor)

Edwin Zhang, LD & Parli Instructor

Edwin Zhang recently graduated from Yale University, where he majored in Applied Mathematics and Ethics, Politics, & Economics, and will be working as a consultant at Redstone Strategy Group. He has been involved in debate since his sophomore year of high school, competing primarily in Lincoln-Douglas debate. As a parliamentary debater in college, he broke at the World championship, was a runner-up at the North American championship, and won the US Universities Debating Championship. In his spare time, he enjoys singing and basketball, interests sparked by his favorite movie, High School Musical, which he first watched on January 21st, 2006. His favorite restaurant is Olive Garden, and he recommends the unlimited soup, salad, and breadsticks combo.

Upcoming Camps

1-Week Lincoln Douglas Workout

The 1-Week Lincoln Douglas Workout is designed for students who don't have the time to complete the full 2-Week Core Lincoln Douglas Program.  We recommend that students who are able choose to attend the 2-Week Core Lincoln Douglas Program or the 3-Week Lincoln Douglas Experience.  Based on past requests, we recognize that some students are unable to fit the full program into their summer and offer this shortened program to allow more students to sharpen their Lincoln...

2-Week Core Lincoln Douglas Program

The Stanford National Forensic Institute offers national caliber summer debate programs for students of any level of experience. The Two Week Lincoln-Douglas program is open to all students and is a comprehensive preparation for the upcoming year of competitive debate. Each lab is carefully constructed to maximize student’s ability to accelerate their skills in a highly educational environment. A strong student to staff ratio (8:1) and a minimum of 10 expertly critiqued practice r...

3-Week Lincoln Douglas Experience

The 3-Week Complete LD Experience combines our 2-Week Core LD Program and our Intensive Practice Round LD Session.  For more information on both programs, please visit their respective pages.

LD Intensive Practice Round Session

The SNFI’s unique LD Extended Week is built upon one important premise: for most students of debate, practice rounds with in-depth critiques by quality instructors are the single most efficient path to quick improvement. The focus of the program is improvement of technique and execution. Participants will practice and master the theories, strategies, and techniques worked on during the first two weeks of the SNFI or at a previous debate camp. The Extended Week’s world class ...